Chemical tracer is an alternative technique for hydraulic fracture diagnosis other than tiltmeter and microseismic mapping. Fracture volume is an essential parameter for stimulation optimization and production forecast. In our previous work, we proposed a simple, cost-effective method to assess the fracture volume using partitioning chemical tracer. In the hydraulic fracturing stage, a partitioning chemical tracer slug is injected along with the fracking fluid. In the created hydraulic fracture, the tracer partitions in both vapor and liquid phases and flow back in the production stage. By analyzing the tracer production data, we could estimate fracture volume and leak-off volume.

This work will first investigate chemical tracer selection criteria for the purpose of fracture volume diagnosis. Tracer partition coefficient and tracer adsorption are the main considerations. Our results suggest a careful section is needed for partition coefficient, balancing the estimation accuracy and investigation area. In addition, the selected tracer should have negligible adsorption. Numerical simulation is another way to interpret tracer test. In the second part of this paper, we propose a modified Random Walk Particle Tracking (RWPT) algorithm to simulate the partitioning chemical tracer transport with multiple mobile phases. Output obtained through the RWPT is identical with analytical solution and its tracer critical breakthrough time is more accurate than the result from the finite-difference based simulations.

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